Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Oh, Paulie DePodesta… won’t see him no more.
I love the All-Decade teams in the Historical Abstract. Do you have a New Millenium team?
1B—Albert Pujols. 2B—Not sure; maybe Utley? 3B—A-Rod (although there are many good candidates. . .Wood Chipper, Rolen, Wright.) SS—Dirty Rotten. LF—Bonds. CF—Carlos Beltran. RF—Bobby Abreu, or possibly Sheffield. DH—Papi. C—Open to Suggestions. SP—Sabathia, Pedro, Big Unit, Halladay. CL—Mariano.
if a good fielding / mediocre hitting team and an all-bat, no-glove team are both looking for a shortstop, should they value the available players differently?...
Well. . .I don’t know if this is the RIGHT answer, but then, neither does anybody else. I would consider the other things at the margin. If you have a slow left fielder and a slow right fielder, you probably need a fast center fielder. If you have a bad defensive third baseman, you probably need a good shortstop.
I think there’s a rational basis for that, which is this. While we tend to think of plays as “belonging” to one fielder or another… it is easily observable that there are many plays in the field which can be made by either of two fielders (and sometimes more than two.) It stands to reason, then, that when one player’s range contracts, his neighbor can cover that to some extent.. .whereas if two neighboring fielders both have poor range, there is probably an interactive effect.
There is a second reason to avoid stacking up liabilities in the field, which is the curvature of the lines. If you increase hits by 10%, you increase runs by 20%. If you increase runs by 20%, you increase losses by 44%. When you stack up parallel liabilities in the field, there may be a more-than-proportional cost because of the curvature of the lines.
If you want to know why some of us get angry at the writers about the Hall of Fame vote, here is an example which might hit home for you, taken from a piece by Howard Bryant on espn.com: “The emerging Generation M (M standing for Moneyball), influenced by its Godfather, Bill James, and his capo, Billy Beane, is also deeply culpable for allowing their calculations to blissfully ignore steroids and, through that omission, attempting to legitimize the whole dishonest era (and themselves) by attempting to make the game revolve around only numbers…”
... There is a large, general historical argument going on about how to evaluate baseball players and about how baseball games are won, and Bryant perceives us—correctly—as being the aggressors in this argument, seizing territory long held by traditional sportswriters. He resents the loss of this territory, as people have always resented the loss of territory they claim to own, and he focuses this resentment on us.
But we are transitioning also into a third argument, away from the argument about how to win games and thus how to evaluate players, into one about steroids. The truth will ultimately prevail in that argument, as it has prevailed and will prevail in the other arguments. We have to be careful, then, that we do not allow others to assign us territory to defend, and thus wind up defending the indefensible.
It has never been my position that nothing counts except the numbers. There is a great deal that matters in baseball that is difficult to document and difficult to assess the value of.
It is not my position that you can’t discount the accomplishments of steroid users. I think it is entirely fair to apply a discount, if you choose to do so, to the things done by Jason Giambi or Manny Ramirez or any other pill popper.
It is my view, however, that attempting to apply that discount traps you into an ultimately unsustainable balancing act. At least three players who were almost certainly steroid users have already been elected to the Hall of Fame. In five years that will be ten players, or 20. At that point you will be drawing a line between those who were credibly accused of using steroids—who you want to keep out of the Hall of Fame—and those who merely have all the characteristics of steroid users, but who have somehow escaped the accusations. As time passes it is going to become progressively more difficult to sustain that distinction.
The phils new SP, John Lannan , is 2-5with a 6- plus era in Citizens bank park. How much stock do u give such things generally and how much does it mean for pitching in cbp for lannan facing the nats braves mets etc?
It doesn’t mean anything, except it expands my respect for the Phillies a little. If a player plays well against YOU, you’d be surprised how much that drives demand for him within an organization. It’s unusual that a team would sign a player who has pitched poorly against them.
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